Go green at St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday

shamrock stock photoCome celebrate the luck o’ the Irish this Sunday as Grand Marshal William Connolly leads the 39th annual Greenwich St. Patrick’s Parade.

Mr. Connolly was installed as Grand Marshal by the Greenwich Hibernian Association at the organization’s annual dinner dance on Saturday, March 2. Marching with Mr. Connolly will be his aides — his daughters, Jane Raviele and Beth Horton, his sons, Billy Connolly and Timothy Connolly and his daughter-in-law, Virginia Connolly.

Mr. Connolly, or Billy, as he is known to most people, is a life-long Greenwich resident. His father, William, was born in Carlow, Ireland. His mother, Christina Moran Connolly was born in America, but her father, Michael Moran was born in County Cork, Ireland and her mother, Bridget Milligan Moran was born in County Galway, Ireland.

Mr. Connolly attended St. Mary’s Grammar School in Greenwich and is a self taught artist well known for his pen and ink drawings. As usual, the parade will begin at Town Hall at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, with the blowing of the official whistle by Greenwich Police Officer, Stan Sanders. Officer Sanders is a proud Irish-American with roots in Counties Antrim, Donegal and Waterford. He will be blowing the whistle in honor of his friend Ray Kelly, a musician who had a big influence on the New York Irish music scene and who died in January. Officer Sanders is a proud father of five children ranging in age from 9 to 21. He is in his 12th year of service in the Greenwich Police Department following a six-year career in the U.S. Navy. Marchers will proceed up Field Point Road, along U.S. 1 and then down Greenwich Avenue.

Prior to the parade, the Greenwich Hibernian Association will conduct its annual Irish Flag Raising Ceremony at Town Hall at 9:30. Members will then attend the 10:30 mass at St. Mary Church on Greenwich Avenue. The public is invited to both the flag raising and mass.

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